Monday, May 1, 2017

On the Road With The Redheads!

The weather in the Keys was almost perfect while we were there, I have the photos to prove it. 

The sun was shining, the temps were in the low 80's with a light breeze. ..

We enjoyed every minute of it. Of course, it only took it about 30 minutes one afternoon to go from almost cloudless and sunny to this...

Strong winds and thunderstorms blowing in.  It was still wonderful!

On Sunday after church the girls had a jam session with some friends from another band, The Doerfels. They were working on a new song Kendra wrote, and the finished product is beautiful!

After that we hit the road for real.
I just want all the baby-boomers out there to know that "Shirley Partridge" (Jones) lied to us back in the early 70's family show "The Partridge Family". They made going on the road and singing look like a walk in the park. All fun, no real labor or work. No hours of rehearsal, singing at the top venues, never hauling any heavy equipment, enjoying riding all day in a school bus that wasn't even converted, and audiences that adore you (well, that last part seems to be true), no late nights loading equipment and then trying to get some sleep in a crowded bus / motorhome as it moves down the highway. 

Darryl and I set out with the Redhead Express, Walker boys and family on the 9th of January. This show business world is a lot more  work than you would know. First stop was Tampa where we dropped off my mini-van, did some much needed grocery shopping and took a break for a little fun.  We went to the skate park for the guys to work off some energy and Darryl took the opportunity to help little Rachel learn to use a skateboard.

The next afternoon found us at Destin Beach, Florida where we enjoyed the sun, sand and sound of the waves. It was a little too windy and the water a little chilly for me to swim.

Little Rachel's best buddy is "Dah-woh" as she calls her Grandpa Darryl, and they are pretty much inseparable.

The enjoyed hunting for shells on the beach..

I just enjoyed the sun and the view. Rachel and her Mama thought they would test the water, but after one cold splash changed their minds.

We left and drove for the next 24 hours to our next gig. Back to their roots and the RV Park where it all started 10 yrs ago for the Walker Family and the Redhead Express.

An RV park musicians, specifically "Pickers" where the girls and their brothers learned some timeless skills on playing their instruments.

A potluck dinner then a concert by the Redheads and Walker boys followed by a couple of hours of "Pickin' and singing" with these wonderful and very talented people!

I've gotta get me one of these shirts, .....   Right Cody?

We spent the night in Houston, and while we were there we went to the temple. A little peace amid the sometimes chaos of the world that tries to engulf us.

After that things got really busy, and interesting... They bought a new, bigger trailer to haul all of their equipment in so the small white trailer could be used for costume and personal items. 

We picked the shiny black trailer up on Saturday and the very next day, while traveling to South Texas, this happened.

 Yes, while traveling to south Texas we were rear ended on the interstate while driving more than 70 mph. We were hit so hard that it knocked the trailer off the hitch and into the Mini-bus that was pulling it.

 No one was hurt, thank the Lord, but my Ruckus and Darryl's motorcycle, which were in the back of the trailer were totaled, and all of the personal items and costumes had to be moved to the new trailer. It was such a great blessing that all the sound equipment and instruments were in the new trailer and we were able to soldier on to the next concert. You know the saying:
"The show must go on!"

And go on it did. We did several sold out concerts at RV parks and retirement communities in central and south Texas and in Arizona, but we were so busy I neglected to take any photos.

The travel/ performance schedule is something like this. -
7- 9 a.m. - Everyone one is up, showered and has breakfast. Last minute laundry is finished.
5 hours before showtime - Load in all equipment and set up stage, sound equipment and video screens, tune all instruments.
( During this time the girls are taking care of children, put away laundry, fixing food, putting on make-up and deciding on wardrobe for the day.)
1 1/2 hours before show time - Sound check. Set up merchandise. 
Showtime - Girls onstage with lots of energy, Boys ready to go onstage. 
 (Those not on stage performing are running sound and merchandise, helping to watch children, fixing dinner, cleaning, running last minute errands, and anything else that is needing to be done.)
Rest for a couple of hours between shows.
Second Show - Keep the energy up and put on a great show again!
20 minutes after showtime - start packing up instruments, video screens, sound equipment and the miles of cords. Pack up Merchandise when the crowd is gone. Average time - 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Pack up and head back to the RV park (if you're lucky to have your next show in the same area) or hit the road for an all night drive to your next performance. 

 Darryl and I enjoying the sunset on our walk in lovely Surprise, Arizona.

For 7 weeks Darryl and I travel with the band and I don't think I have ever been so tired. This experience was fun, exhausting, exhilarating and I would do it again in a heartbeat (after I get a month or two to rest!).  

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